Exploring the benefits – and pitfalls – of artificial intelligence

Exploring the benefits – and pitfalls – of artificial intelligence

(Editor’s note: This is the first part of a four-part series on the future of artificial intelligence.)

(December 30, 2023) – President Joe Biden summed up the heated debate over artificial intelligence last summer, saying: “We need to manage the risks to our society, our economy, and our national security.”

Speaking in San Francisco on June 20, Biden added: “We will see more technological change in the next 10 years than we have seen in the last 50 years, and perhaps even further. AI is already driving this change in every part of life.” America, often in ways we don’t notice.

I’ve been looking at articles about AI, and it’s been confusing. So, I want to share my research – starting with how it will help us, “The Good.” But it’s certainly not all good, so my next articles will discuss the “bad” and “the ugly,” along with possible solutions for taming AI.

Let’s start with ChatGPT, which stands for Generative Transformer Pre-Trained. The technology scans and produces words written by humans throughout history until September 2021.

For us laymen, GPT-3 has a word count equivalent to 90 million novels and can provide answers to our questions within seconds.

The AI ​​chatbot uses natural language processing to create human-like conversational dialogue. But behind every AI chatbot is a server farm that stores all this information.

Help with worldly chores

Using ChatGPT can save you a lot of time. It increases our knowledge by completing tasks that a human being cannot do easily without spending hours. And you don’t need a fancy computer to use it.

Ask it to plan meals and it will create recipes and grocery lists in the blink of an eye. If you don’t like what comes out, refine your questions, for example, by planning the menu using only chicken options or vegetarian options.

He or she can formulate answers to emails to edit, create a family budget, or write down bedtime stories to tell your kids. If you want to have more fun, ask him to use other people’s voices – like Stephen King’s creepy dialogue or Jerry Seinfeld’s humorous remarks.

A San Jose restaurant used artificial intelligence to create a Father’s Day pizza they called “The Jetsons.” The recipe was delivered to the chef within 10-15 seconds.

“Young people try it because it’s artificial intelligence. Older people say, ‘What’s artificial intelligence?'” co-owner Diana Salesicia-Valors told Linda Zavoral of the Bay Area News Group.

Most of them loved the pizza, including her 84-year-old mother, Alba, who founded the restaurant.

It can also help you with travel plans. A writer asked ChatGPT to create a week-long itinerary in Milan. She was happy with the results but noted that the itinerary she received from her travel agent was more personalized and helpful.

ChatGPT can be valuable for people with disabilities, reminding people with memory loss to take medication or making reading and writing easier for those with dyslexia or fine motor skills difficulties.

Educational aspects

Most importantly, it can help in the classroom. At a private school in Palo Alto, an artificial intelligence serves as a tutor for sixth-grade children studying quadratic equations and graphing. The school also uses AI software in history, civics and chemistry lessons.

Our book club is reading “Clara and the Sun,” in which a sick girl is helped by an artificial friend, a walking, talking robot infused with artificial intelligence. Author Kazuo Ishiguro sets the story in the future, but it’s almost there.

Bloomberg opinion columnist Tyler Cowen predicts that with CPT-4, “every middle-class child will grow up with an AI personal assistant — as long as the parents are okay with it — portable in something like a tablet. Your child will learn to read and write.” Faster and better, and he will do better in school.

Then there’s Replika, an adult friend for those who feel lonely, want advice, or just someone to talk to about their feelings. “Replica can help you understand your thoughts and feelings, track your mood, learn coping skills, calm anxiety, and work toward goals like positive thinking, managing stress, socializing, and finding love,” Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz writes on thecut.com.

Or you can create a chatbot lover who “will never die, argue or cheat, and for $69.99 a year, you can display the bot in your own bedroom.”

Boost for business and medicine

AI can benefit the wider world by reducing labor costs for businesses. By automating tasks such as taking notes, summarizing documents, and drafting messages, they free humans to interpret content or come up with new ideas.

This technology almost instantly produced highly accurate sales forecasts, which previously took managers weeks to come up with. These workers then have more time to build sales relationships.

Artificial intelligence has huge potential in the medical field. Robotic systems are already helping doctors in surgery, reducing human errors. AI can analyze massive amounts of data to discover patterns for better and faster diagnosis. It can take on time-consuming tasks such as writing appeals to health insurance companies or summarizing patient feedback.

“Technology helps doctors communicate with more empathy,” Jenna Kolta wrote for the Bay Area News Group. “Doctors turn to chatbots to find the words to break bad news, express concerns about a patient’s suffering, or explain medical recommendations more clearly.”

Doctors can also use ChatGPT to rewrite medical terminology to a fifth-grade reading level, with simple explanations of the pros and cons of treatment.

I asked ChatGPT to write an article about the benefits and concerns of artificial intelligence. The conclusion stated:

“AI offers many benefits in different fields, including automation, healthcare, personalization, and scientific research. However, it is necessary to address concerns associated with AI, such as ethical implications, job displacement, security, privacy, and transparency. Responsible development, regulation, and dialogue Continuing communication between policymakers, researchers, and the public is essential to maximizing the benefits of AI while mitigating its potential risks. By addressing these concerns, we can harness the potential of AI to improve society, and ensure it remains a powerful tool that enhances our lives.

My next article will address the concerns that the robot articulates in its conclusion.



Jill Murray

Jill Murray

Jill Murray served Walnut Creek as mayor and city council member for 10 years. From 2004 to 2016, she served as District 1 Director, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board of Directors. She is the author of Lessons from the Hot Seat: Governance at the Local and Regional Levels.

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